In the 1830s and 1840s, several members of the Pearson and Wierman families left Adams County, Penn., for the west. The emigrants were Quakers, and they settled in Putnam County, Ill., where many Pennsylvania Friends had already established a settlement. William C. Wierman worked successfully as a cooper, while several of the women taught school. The Pearsons and Wiermans were active in the abolition movement, originally as Whigs, but later in the anti-slavery Liberty Party.
This collection contains seven photocopies and one typescript of correspondence from the Pearson-Wierman families. Most of the letters are from Illinois to Isaac W. Pearson, who stayed in Pennsylvania, and concern family matters, education and politics. Especially notable are the letters to Isaac from his sister, Charlotte, concerning her impressions of Illinois, and the letter of Susan Wierman, Isaac's aunt, on the Liberty Party, slavery, and the 1848 presidential contest.
John W. Pearson, of North Chevy Chase, Md., donated the collection to the Illinois Historical Survey in 1987.